Friday, April 21, 2006

Good Friday today in Greece...

...and Athens is like a deserted town. Thousands of people have already left in order to celebrate Easter at their villages or cottages in the countryside.

As I'm writing this, I can hear the bells of my local church ringing solemnly. Later tonight, the Epitaphios (the tomb of Christ with its crucified icon in it and decorated with hundreds of flowers) will be taken out of the church and carried away through the neighborhood followed by a slow procession. The procession, which is preceded by a band playing solemn music, consists of the clergy, the altar boys who carry the liturgical fans and the local people who sing hymns and hold lighted candles in their hands.

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